Being a greeter or an usher is much more than just handing out bulletins and taking the offering.

Every worship service is intended to be a transforming experience for those who seek or know God.  

Greeters and ushers are the first point of contact for our members and guests.  As such, they are

the immediate emissaries of God, welcoming them and caring for their needs, and can have a

huge impact on the worshiper’s experience of God.

Greeters and ushers serve many needs in Charlton worship services. Collectively they are called

“The Hospitality Team.” Because of the need to prepare, communicate and make last minute

adjustments, all hospitality team members should arrive 30 minutes prior to the service.

A special leader bulletin is prepared each week and is available at the back of the tech corral.  This leader bulletin has information not included in the normal bulletin, including instructions and reminders for all of our volunteers, including the ushers.  Be sure to pick up a leader bulletin prior to the service and to look for any instructions which are printed in red.

Prior to the Service

  • Check the leader bulletin and look for any instructions, which are printed in red.  Check with the Pastor or Director of Worship if you have any questions.
  • Survey the worship space making sure that the temperature is comfortable, and that no trash remains in seats or aisles.
  • Make sure the collection plates are at the rear of the sanctuary.

Door Greeters
Two ushers serve as door greeters in the lobby.  Their primary responsibility is to make everyone feel welcome. Because some people arrive late, please stay at your post a few moments after the service starts.

  • Be sure to greet everyone with a smile.
  • You may want to consider stepping outside and opening the door for people, especially in good weather.
  • Please refrain from entering into conversations with people, especially your friends and family.  You are there to greet people properly, especially our guests.
  • If you are confident that someone is a new guest to the church, invite them to have a cup of coffee in the lobby and to visit the Welcome Desk, where they can obtain information about our church.

Sanctuary Greeters
One or two ushers greet the worshipers as they arrive at the sanctuary.

  • Greet everyone with a smile and offer them a bulletin.
  • Please refrain from entering into conversations with people.  Because the entry into our sanctuary is rather tight in space, part of your job is to ensure that no one is having conversations with friends and thereby standing in the way of others entering into the sanctuary.
  • The ushers may sit in the back pew near the credenza.   Please note if anyone enters the sanctuary after the services has started, and be sure they have received a bulletin.
  • If you are available and willing, it would be a great idea for ushers to leave the sanctuary at the end of the service and go to the main doors of the lobby and wish people well as they leave the church.

Collecting Connection Cards
The ushers collect the connection cards on which people have placed their prayer requests.  These cards are usually collected during the first hymn and should be handed to the pastor. 

Collecting the Offering
The ushers are responsible for collecting the offering during the service.

  • Be sure to read the Leader Bulletin for any special notes about the offering.
  • Get into position to receive the offering appropriately.  Do not wait until it is time to collect the offering to get into position!  Do not wait until the offering has been announced.  Be prepared with plates in hand!
  • When the offering is announced, two ushers come forward via the center aisle, and one usher comes forward in each side aisle and begin collecting the offering once they have reached the first pews of worshippers.
  • Once the offering has been collected, remain in the back of the sanctuary until the music has completed.
  • Two ushers bring the plates forward once the introduction to the Doxology has begun.
  • These two ushers remain in place at the front of the sanctuary until the Offertory Prayer has been offered.  They may then turn around and return to the rear of the sanctuary.
  • When there is no Doxology, the Leader Bulletin will indicate if the offering plates should be brought forward or remain in the tech corral.

Distributing Communion in the Pews
When communion is served in the pews, the ushers are to follow these guidelines:

  • Follow the Leader Bulletin and get into position at the rear of the sanctuary when then the communion liturgy begins for the opening prayers.
  • When it is time to distribute communion, the ushers come forward via the center aisle and stand in a line in front of the chancel stage.   The bread plates will be handed to them.
  • They then turn around to distribute the elements.  Two ushers use the center aisle, and the other two ushers use the two side aisles.
  • Once the elements have been distributed, the ushers should remain at the back of the sanctuary, take a piece of bread and then take communion with the rest of the congregation.   This allows the congregation an unobstructed view of the altar area, instead of looking at the backs of the ushers standing up front.
  • As soon as the ushers eat the bread, they should bring the bread plates forward and stand in front of the altar rail.  Do not wait for the pastor to call you forward.
  • The bread plates will be taken from the ushers and they will be given the juice trays.
  • The ushers then distribute the juice.
  • The ushers remain at the back of the sanctuary until the juice has been received.
  • As soon as the juice is received, the ushers take the trays forward.
  • Once the empty trays have been received from the ushers, they are to turn around and return to the rear of the sanctuary while the pastors replace the communion elements.

Assisting with Communion at the Altar Rail or by Intinction
When communion is offered at the altar rail or by intinction, one or two ushers are to help guide the worshipers towards the front of the sanctuary.   When it is time to receive communion, the usher(s) go to the first pew where people are sitting and direct the worshipers, row by row, to go forward.   Please make the pastor aware of any worshiper who is not able to come forward to receive communion.

Other Considerations

  • If there is a large crowd for a service, be aware of spaces in the pews where you may want to ask people to sit closer to make room for others.   This happens often for special services, such as Christmas Eve.  You may also wish to open the collapsible doors into the parlor for extra seating.
  • There is an “Emergency Light” located in the tech corral, which is operated by the Welcome Desk attendant.  If this light goes on during a service, one of the tech volunteers will tell an usher, who should then go to the lobby to assist the Welcome Desk attendant.
  • Make yourself aware of the spaces in the sanctuary where wheelchairs may be placed.  These are the “cut-out” area of the pews in the front of the sanctuary, as well at the back in front of the tech corral.
  • In case of emergency when a worshipper becomes ill, be sure that someone is caring for the situation. The usher does not need to take this responsibility on if they do not feel comfortable; simply be sure that someone else is aware of the situation and is caring for the matter.
  • Make the pastor aware of any situations that are occurring during a worship service.
  • A wheelchair is available in the parlor, directly behind the stained glass window at the rear of the sanctuary.

These guidelines and instructions for our greeters and ushers can be found on reminder cards that are available on the credenza at the rear of the sanctuary and also at the Welcome Desk in the lobby.

A United Methodist Community

Where Faith Meets Life

5920 Jonestown Road

Harrisburg, PA 17112